Dutch crime journalist Peter R. De Vries (64) was shot in the street in Amsterdam on Tuesday night. The well-known crime reporter was to be a guest there on the Dutch talkshow RTL Boulevard, where he often joins to talk about sensational crime stories.
Who is crime journalist Peter R. De Vries?
Peter R. De Vries started his career as a reporter at the De Telegraaf newspaper in 1978. After only one year on the general editorial staff, he focused on crime reporting. In 1987 de Vries resigned from De Telegraaf to become editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine Aktueel, which he transformed into a crime magazine.
However, De Vries achieved great fame with his television program “Peter R. de Vries: crime reporter” that ran from October 1995 to June 2012 on the commercial channel SBS6. With this program, he ensured that perpetrators could be caught several times, often with the help of the hidden camera. On his own website, De Vries describes his TV program as “luis in de pels” (translated: louse in the pelt)” of justice and “kwelgeest van de onderwereld” (translated: tormentor of the underworld).
One of the most famous cases solved by the journalist is the murder of the American teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba. Commissioned by De Vries, an undercover informant was able to record some incriminating statements made by the Dutchman Joran Van Der Sloot, after which there was a breakthrough in the case. The broadcast on the Holloway case earned De Vries an Emmy Award. He was subsequently also a guest on various American talk shows.
De Vries also assisted the parents and sister of Nicky Verstappen, the 11-year-old boy who was found murdered in 1998 on the Brunsummerheide (Dutch Limburg), for twenty years, according to Dutch media. Jos B., a suspect in this murder case, was arrested in Spain on August 26, 2018. De Vries ensured with TV broadcasts that the murder case remained under the spotlight.
In the Marengo trial, the criminal case against the “mafia” with, among others, the well-known Dutch gangster Ridouan Taghi as a suspect, De Vries acts as “confidant” of key witness Nabil B.
In September 2019, B.’s lawyer Derk Wiersum was shot dead. Justice is seriously considering that he was murdered because of his work as a lawyer in the case of the star witness. The brother of the key witness was also shot dead. De Vries was also on Taghi’s ‘death list’ according to the Dutch police.
Because of his outspoken, often sharp opinions, Peter R. De Vries is a welcome guest on talk shows, including RTL Late Night, Pauw, and RTL Boulevard. He has also written several books on major Dutch crime stories, such as ‘De ontvoering van Albert Heineken’ (English verson: The kidnapping of Albert Heineken).
In addition to being a crime reporter, De Vries and his son Royce are also active as sports agents, and he is the co-founder of a law firm specializing in cybercrime.
Peter R. De Vries shot
The well-known Dutch crime journalist Peter R. de Vries was shot in the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat in Amsterdam on Tuesday evening. De Vries was taken to hospital with serious injuries and is fighting for his life. Three suspects have been arrested.
The attack on Peter R. De Vries took place around 7.30 pm on the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat in Amsterdam. The journalist was seriously injured and “fighting for his life”. Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema said this at a press conference about the attack. “A brutal, cowardly crime has been committed,” said Halsema. She calls De Vries “a national hero”.
Several shots were fired at De Vries from close range, and witnesses speak of four or five shots. Three suspects have been arrested, according to the AD report. A possible getaway car has been arrested with two suspects. That includes the possible shooter, police commissioner Frank Pauw said during the press conference. A third suspect has been arrested elsewhere in Amsterdam. His role is still under investigation.
The police were not yet able to say anything about the possible motives of the perpetrator or reasons for the shooting incident. “Now we are engaged in the search, trace investigation, and, of course, assistance. Motifs and backgrounds only come into play at a much later stage.”
In the hours after de Vries was shot, YouTube removed hundreds of videos showing the injured De Vries and the crime scene. Bystanders made the videos. The police in Amsterdam have called on people not to share images of the attack on social media.
De Vries has been threatened for some time and stated on Twitter in 2019 that he would be on a death list. In the past, his house was sometimes guarded by the police; he told the AD in 2017. “They had serious information that something was about to happen. And then at night, there was a car in front of the door, people with bulletproof vests in it, you name it.” Threats didn’t matter to him,’ said De Vries. “I’m not reporting it either, I’m really not going to spend time on it.”
Last month, De Vries was interviewed by Vrij Nederland. In it, he said, among other things, that he is not afraid, but that “Nabil’s brother and his former lawyer were murdered, so you don’t have to be hysterical to think that something could happen. That’s part of the job. A crime reporter who comes up at really tense moments with ‘now it’s getting a little too intense for me’ would be better off working at Libelle.”